The Online Snooping Act – They got it wrong

Blog, Regulation, Roland Renner

Sometimes it is better to retreat!

This is certainly the case for the federal Conservatives with the Online Surveillance Act as it is often called.  Whether it is called the Lawful Access Act or the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, it is way over the line of reasonable balance between civil rights and privacy rights on the one hand and effective policing on the other hand.   Strong judicial oversight is needed in this area and whittling away the scope of warrants goes in the wrong direction.

I won’t try to rewrite the bill here.  The government should retreat in this case.  It is particularly astonishing to listen to some of the justifications for the legislation in light of the eminently sensible things the Conservatives have been saying, in my opinion,  about individual rights with respect to the long gun registry over the past ten years.  Isn’t anyone else making a connection here?

Kudos to the Conservative MP’s who have spoken out against the bill, at least in its current form.  May they be rewarded for speaking truth to power rather than punished by the Party Whip.  Kudos to the opposition for getting this one right.

There are several ways to do this.  The government could admit that it got this one wrong and go back to the drawing board.  More practically, let it be gutted in committee and declare victory anyway.  Finally they could let the Senate do it and humbly take its advice.